Today we’re joined by Artsytarts. Artsytarts is a phenomenal artist from Switzerland who is currently a student in scientific illustration. Aside from her schoolwork, she’s a dedicated fanartist who draws inspiration from numerous sources and plays with a number of different styles. She’s so passionate about her craft and it shows in her answers. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Hi, everyone! My name is artsytarts and I’m a 21 year old student in scientific illustration. (Since September 2015, in fact. And it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me).
My art can best be summed up with having two sides to it: One I focus on in school, which is the analytical, precise and technical side, the other I work on in my free time, which is more cartoony, comic-book-y and mostly consists of fanart. Which is just perfect for me, because I love doing both naturalistic and cartoony things.
As a medium, I prefer to create my art digitally, although I am trying to come to terms with more traditional, analog techniques as well. The reason being that I want to become more versatile. Art school is really helping me with that, because I get to study all kinds of interesting stuff like coal, pencil work, scientific drawing with ink, watercolor and oil painting (among other things)
What inspires you?
When drawing in my free time, I think my biggest inspirations are books, comics, TV and movies. Specifically things like Doctor Who and the Discworld books (at least right now). I draw a lot of fanart when I need to wind down or just want to have fun or want to experiment. And even if I don’t draw fanart, I end up drawing sci-fi or fantasy themed things most of the time.
Otherwise? Many things. Many, many things. Nature, people, animals, faces, stories, music, ideas, feelings, other artists, teachers, colours, books, patterns, clouds… I can find inspiration anywhere. The world is such an interesting place and I think if you’re attentive and you look closely at all the little miracles that surround you, you can always find something to inspire yourself with.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yes and no. I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to be an artist, because I only really discovered the joy of art when I was around 15 years old. But boy, from then on out it has totally been my obsession. I’d always doodled around on my worksheets in school, but when I was 15 was the first time I really got into it. That’s when I started looking up tutorials online on how to draw people, because I wanted to draw Discworld characters. It’s funny isn’t it? I started drawing through fanart and that’s still one of my biggest inspirations today.
Anyway, at the same time I was also a big Disney fan and I came to the realization that, hey… this is a job. There are animators who make these movies for a living. So for a while, I wanted to become an animator. Until I finally sat down and tried animating things and found out that it wasn’t the thing for me after all.
Then I discovered comics and set my mind to becoming a comic artist, cause I thought that would be cool. I still think it would be cool and I would certainly love to dive into that part of the industry in the future. But the most important realization I had was that I just wanted to create. If I can make a living by doing the thing I love most, creating art . . . that’s all I want.
That occurred to me when I was around 18. And I’ve been working towards this goal ever since. studying illustration at art school is pretty much my dream come true. Because it’s the door to a whole world of possibilities for me.
And it’s fun. Even when it’s stressful, it’s fun. I’m having the time of my life right now.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
You tell me. XD
I have no idea if I have a unique signature or whatever, cause I don’t consciously add one. I always try to experiment as much as I can, no matter if it’s with style, medium or tools. Though I have been told from multiple people that my drawings always have a personality, even if I just draw objects. I personally don’t see that, but then again I look at my own things differently than other people do.
So, whatever it is, it happens by accident, believe me.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
1. Draw like hell, but never so much that it stops being fun. Drawing should be something that you want to do, it shouldn’t become a chore.
2. Don’t shy away from difficult things. If you feel like you can’t do something or do a thing badly, do it. Don’t avoid it. We all feel the pressure of having to make “good art,” but the reality is . . . We all had to start somewhere. Behind every great artwork, there is a paved road of bad artwork leading up to it. That’s the nature of learning: You have to jump in, try, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and build on that.
3. Don’t compare yourselves to others. It’s really difficult, I know, and I still struggle with it a lot myself. It’s so easy to see someone else’s artwork and feel discouraged about your own, but honestly, you’ll always see art you’ll find better than your own. That’s just the way of the world. The trick is to distance yourself and your artwork from theirs. Appreciate other people’s art, marvel at it, see what you can learn from them, but never put your art in direct comparison to theirs.
4. Have patience. It takes a long time to develop your abilities, so keep at it, even if it looks like nothing’s happening. Cause believe me, things are happening. You’ll be amazed how far you’ll have come in 5 years time.
5. You’ll never be done learning. You can always find a way to improve or discover something new to try. There’s no such thing as perfection.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m both aromantic and asexual. Took me a long time to figure it out and, in the case of being aromantic, it also took a while to come to terms with it. But now that I have, I feel great. I’ve never felt so good about myself before. It’s really been a journey, with lots of ups and downs and lots of uncertainty, but I’m really glad that I went on it.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
If we take school as “my field,” no. Like, I’ve never known a bunch of more open minded people than my school mates. They’re all so lovely, all the time. It’s great to be around them.
Sometimes people are curious about why I’m single, but that’s about it.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“You’ll change your mind when the right man comes along, you’ll see” is probably the one I hear most. But also “But everyone likes sex!” and “How do you know if you haven’t tried it?”
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You’re OK the way you are. Don’t let anyone tell you different, cause your orientation is valid and you’re an awesome, unique human being. You’re neither broken, sick or wrong. You feel this way and that’s OK. You’re perfect the way you are. And it might take you a while to come to terms with it, especially if you’ve been told all your life that what you’re feeling can’t be a thing, but trust me: It gets better. Just hang in there. And don’t feel bad for struggling or doubting, cause it doesn’t make you weak or a bad person. Struggling with your orientation is something most of us have to go through. You’re not alone. And you’re not on your own. So, big hugs and good luck. You can get through this!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I mostly hang around Tumblr these days, where you can find my art in three places:
http://artsytarts.tumblr.com/ – my art blog
http://ask-crotchety-twelve.tumblr.com/ – Doctor Who ask blog where I answer things as the 12th Doctor and occasionally paint something too
http://ask-amcw.tumblr.com/ – Discworld ask blog where I answer things with more pictures, this time as different officers from the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from the Discworld
Thank you, Artsytarts, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.